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County declines to boost pay for EDC job

May 09, 2000

The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday refused to reclassify the marketing director's position with the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Former Marketing Director Tom Riford recently left the post to take a job with an Internet company.

Commissioner Paul L. Swartz said he regrets turning down a similar reclassification request for that position earlier this year. Riford has said that wasn't the reason why he left the county job.

Swartz made a motion to change the position from grade 12, which has a pay range of $34,982 to $55,971, to grade 15, with a range of $44,067 to $70,507. The motion died for lack of a second.

The change is appropriate because the job has become more demanding and carries more responsibilities than when it was created in October 1998, said John Howard, executive director of the commission.

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One reason for that is changing technology, including increased use of the Internet, he said.

Howard sought the change but Human Resources Director Alan J. Davis did not endorse it. He said a pay increase of more than 20 percent is too much.

It is not just an issue of pay but also about recognition for work and responsibilities, Howard said.

Howard questioned whether under the current grade the county could find qualified candidates.

But Commissioner John L. Schnebly said he would prefer the county test the job market by advertising the position at the current salary range.

- Scott Butki

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